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The Strategy Room

Best PR & Products from CES 2020

By: Hannah Sedgwick

While 2020 still sounds like a futuristic year, the future of technology is here. This week, thousands of exhibitors are at the Consumer Electronics Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center, where the products of both the near and distant future are on full display for media, influencers and buyers to try out for themselves.

By following CES 2020 from afar, we’ve gathered a few products and their associated campaigns that made headlines during this year’s event.

A Shift in Perspective

One of the more talked-about products coming out of CES 2020 is the Samsung Sero Rotating TV, which is adapting TV functionality to account for the video content of social media for the first time. This television can rotate depending on what you’re watching to optimize the viewing experience. If you’re watching Netflix or Disney+, the screen can be in its standard horizontal orientation, but if you’d like to scroll through Instagram Stories, TikTok or watch a vertical YouTube video, you can press a button to rotate the screen.

Normally, a vertical video would have large, distracting black bars on either side if you’re watching on a horizontal television—but now you’ll be able to see your friends’ Instagram Stories in their full horizontal glory.

In the communications world, this is an exciting direction for video. In the last few years, there’s been a huge emphasis on vertical video on social media, and now that people can watch content on multiple devices besides their phone, it looks like vertical video is here to stay. This means its increasingly important that your content is mobile-friendly since someone could be viewing it on their fancy new vertical television.

Conversations on Social Responsibility

While the highlight of CES is the tech itself, many brands use their platform at the event to launch campaigns focused on broader topics. Take Panasonic, for example. With spokesperson and Olympic phenom Katie Ledecky, Panasonic launched its “Dive into STEM Education” initiative which is an online program for middle schoolers to encourage them to learn about potential careers in STEM fields. Michael Phelps and a host of other world champions were announced as part of “Team Panasonic,” which will “inspire today’s youth to dream big and to work hard to make those dreams come true.”

Panasonic also launched virtual reality glasses that can support HDR, among other products, but also used the opportunity to make a commitment to the future of STEM through its new campaign,  which is a great move on their part to develop its brand voice and values in addition to just announcing new tech.

Will We All End Up Like the Humans in WALL-E?

Segway’s S-Pod seems to have taken over the internet. The “self-balancing maneuverable egg seat” harkens back to the 2008 Pixar film “WALL-E,” which featured people of the future who relied so much on hovering chairs that they became overweight and no longer needed to use their legs for transport around their spaceship.

On social media and in various news articles, people are referring to the S-Pod as “WALL-E chairs,” which is great for Segway’s product recognition, but potentially harmful if you’ve seen the associated Pixar film. But maybe Segway was going for this comparison all along to make a media splash.

When it comes to conventions like CES, it’s important to realize that your content has another life online, and maybe it won’t be perceived the way you expect. Monitoring for your keywords will help you stay in the loop on the conversation.

The Weirdest of the Weird

New tech products take some time to get used to and fully adapt to using on a daily basis. That’s true even with a new phone or coffee maker in your home. One of the best parts about CES is the truly unusual products that make you think, “is this really going to be something we use someday?”

Among the weirdest products at CES 2020 were a toilet paper delivery “RollBot” from Charmin, a robot that can scrape melted raclette cheese onto your meal from Raclett’ House and an app from Pampers that will tell parents if their child needs a diaper change.

Yes, these products are outlandish, but they also get wide and quirky media coverage during CES. Maybe this coverage of bizarre products at CES makes them successful in the end? At the very least these roundup articles of the weirdest new products surely draw attention to each brand mentioned.

Staying on Top of Trends

We love following the media coverage of CES, it’s a who’s who of those in the tech world, both on the product and press side. It’s always fun to dream about the new technology that will make its way to consumers in the coming months and years. CES is an important event for those in PR and allows us to stay on top of the trends coming down the pipeline. As always, we’ll be closely following tech news in the coming year to see these products hit the market!




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